The Great Outdoors in Burgundy

Information on walking, hiking, mountain biking, watersports and horse riding in Burgundy, in the hills, valleys or on the rivers and lakes of Cote d'Or, Saone et Loire, Yonne and Nievre...

Burgundy offers a wide variety of outdoor activities such as:

Most Tourist Offices have information brochures in English and several have websites with details on activities in each area. There are companies that hire out any specific equipment needed for an excursion.

Parc Naturel Régional de Morvan

The Morvan National Park has over 170,000 hectares of forest and countryside and many lakes and streams. Situated in the Nièvre département, the park has facilities for cycling, hiking and watersports and is also two museums, the Musée de la Résistance and the Ecomusée.

Hiking in Burgundy

The French Hiking and Walking Federation (Fédération Française de la Randonnée Pedestre - FFRP) is the overseeing body for all marked and maintained walking routes in France. It provides information and guide-books (most in French) for walkers in the area.

All nationally recognised trails are categorised as follows:

  • GR (Grand Randonnée): Registered hiking trails that often run across the entire country
  • GRP (Sentiers de Grande Randonnée de Pays): Registered regional trails that will take you around a particular region for several days
  • PR (Sentiers de Promenade): Walking and hiking trails for short circuits, lasting several hours

The French route marking system shows paths by means of signs and blazes. During the summer months, marked paths may be closed for fire hazard.

  • For clear explanations of the waymarks, or blazes (balises): Click here

Information (in French) on hiking in Burgundy, including maps, itineraries and clubs for each department:

Mountain Biking and Cycling

Due to the varied nature of the landscape, from the flat tracks that follow the canals to the mounting biking available in the more hilly areas such as the Morvan National Park, Burgundy has many cycling routes.

The Bourgogne Tourist Board has a website dedicated to cycling in Burgundy: Burgundy by Bike which provides much helpful information on the different routes and itineraries as well as maps. Maps according to your area and lists of repair and rental shops can be referred to by area.

VTT France has information on mountain bike routes throughout France. The website lists events, clubs and mountain biking itineraries.

  • For information on mountain biking routes in Burgundy: Click here and select "Bourgogne" (in French)

The Fédération Française de Cyclisme is the French cycling authority. It organises events and controls a network of clubs around the country in various disciplines including, VTT (mountain biking), BMX, road racing, velodrome racing and polo teams playing on bikes.

Watersports

Most large towns in the Burgundy region have leisure water bases with an open lake, providing water games, kayaking and more. Check with the local Tourist Office for local facilities.

The Morvan National Park is home to a number of lakes and rivers that are ideal for canoeing, kayaking, and rafting. The Chalaux river regularly hosts white water rafting competitions.

  • For further information from the Morvan National Park website: Click here

Horse Riding

The Green Trails (Pistes Vertes) in the Saône-et-Loire cover over 600 Km of riding paths. The bridal paths are also open to hikers and cyclists. Maps can be downloaded online and are available at Tourist Offices.

  • Comité Départemental de Tourisme Equestre de Saône-et-Loire
    At
    : La Mairie, 71460 Saint-Gengoux-le-National

The Comité Régional du Tourisme Equestre (CRTE) website has information on riding schools, bridal paths in the Côte d'Or, Nièvre, Saône et Loire and Yonne, horse riding holidays and general information about horse riding in Burgundy.